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Translate Poems in English into ENGLISH!!!!

October 10, 2013

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I’m getting on a plane to New Orleans today. Instead of writing a long post, I thought I’d offer a few interesting “translations” of some of my favorite quotations. The first is from “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock;” the second is an oft-repeated slogan from Marshall McLuhan. Enjoy!

English-to-English Translation #1

What Tommy Stearns Eliot meant when he said “I wish I were a pair of ragged claws” is Eat my human heart out, won’t you please, for these carpet-tunneled typewritten hands cracking dawn before Lloyds Bank give me the bends as my Vivid batlady snores up straightjacketed sheep bleating ten pound notes against the bed post; it means I’m so shanty shanty assbad that if I wrote a scuttled clause it’s cuz I wanted to.

<originally published in Short, Fast, and Deadly January 2013>

 

English-to-English Translation #2

What Marshy McLuhan really meant by “the medium is the message” is a guaranteed pick up line: Step one, lean in nose close; Step two, howl LOVE ME! LOVE ME! If yet loveless, cry piteously (step trois) until relationshipped. Repeat murderously in prime time. When you lick that obstinate smear on the TV, it slips you the tongue electric, flashing a pixel patch of wet spectrum like a randy aspect ratio.

Your turn. Take a well-known but esoteric English quotation and translate it into your English.

From → writing tips

8 Comments
  1. Liana permalink

    OMG you are so FN brilliant.
    translation: Your perspective is fresh and original…evocating an organic experience of the classics.

  2. I can’t but agree with the lady above:-) It’s brilliant! I can’t follow you on this, I am afraid. My knowledge of English masterpieces is still embryonic. I hope I will answer this, though, in a couple of years:-)

    • Or answer by translating an original line from Italian (or any other language) into your own private and poetically personal version of the same.

  3. Michael Andreoni permalink

    How ’bout Woody Allen’s “Not only is there no God, but just try getting a plumber on Sunday.” The quintessential existential of our time.

    • I thoroughly believe he is a prophet. I just can’t decide if the Book of Woody would be in the Old or (more sacrilegiously perhaps) in the New Testament.

      • Did I mention I am writing these replies while enjoying an Amber ale, some Jambalaya, and live jazz at an outdoor cafe in New Orleans? Life is good.

  4. Reblogueó esto en kata14y comentado:
    es lo mas misino me en cantan las sirenas

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